Hakuouki: Reimeiroku Episode 4 – A Fighting Chance


Sometimes, all you need is a fighting chance.


Summary:
Okita disappears from the Mibu Temple after being told he should return Edo and stop serving with the Roshigumi. Ryunosuke tags along with Kondou and learns about Okita’s troubled childhood. Serizawa takes advantage of the situation to get Okita to kill a man, and hence causing more problems for the Roshigumi.


Impressions:

ALL THE GOOD FEELS FOR OKITA. I never was a fan of his yandere personality, though I would have to concede he is a brilliant swordsman. We’re treated to an episode on his history, and childhood, which cast a lot of light on why Okita is the way he is.
On a fundamental level, maybe you could say that he was raised without any “real” father figures, and therefore, Kondou was an automatic fit for the position in Okita’s mind. After being left at a dojo by his sister at the age of ten, it’s not hard to see how much he had been missing out on. The sister must have been pretty desperate in order to give up her own brother. The worst part was the lack of order and respect at Kondou’s dojo, which I found irritating. It reflects the times in this anime, as those with swords are often bullies, and it takes other men with swords to keep them in check. Those boys probably grew into the hooligans the Roshigumi are chasing down on the streets, eh?

Though, I got the message that Kondou is not a miracle worker, As much as anyone wants to go back and time and coddle Okita, this is what let him survive to this stage, to fight for life, even as your internal clock winds down. Okita is still, and will always be, that child at the gate of the dojo. No matter what, that kind of unconditional love will be what Okita will hold onto in order to do serve Kondou. I’m starting to understand the anguish that the Roshigumi feel in not seeing Kondou in charge. I don’t think Kondou’s desire to let Okita roam free is a wise decision, because Okita has always been a wild card. He’s with you, but for the wrong reasons…perhaps Kondou is trying to compensate for not being able to protect Okita as a child, while Okita is struggling to be seen as a real samurai in Kondou’s eyes.

I suppose, this is what they call “tough love.” Okita survived, and despite his outward remarks and attitude, his heart is in the right place…mostly. I have a feeling that he’s fighting for Kondou, rather than for the shogunate, which is a little bit difficult to digest. I want to believe that all the Roshigumi are selfless and willing, but time and again, we are reminded that they are all flawed human beings. And all for the better, because legends are often skewed in a way that does not describe whole and “real” people. This story reflects the show as a whole, because we root for Okita despite his bad attitude. It might be that people like underdogs to win, which in this case is Okita, and in extension, the Roshigumi.

I’m surprised that the ochinimizu was alluded to, but not acted on yet. There’s too much politics going on at the moment, maybe the first effects haven’t taken root yet?

Ryunosuke and his story took the backset in this episode for the flashback aspect, but I didn’t mind. It was really interesting to be transported to the life of Okita, I always did find him a bit hard to understand.

Serizawa’s tactics are causing a huge divide in the group. It’s becoming more evident in his actions that he isn’t really all that interested in the shogunate, and more interested in manipulating the political situation around him. I wonder how much Sannan-san is aware of, at this point.

I’m not too keen on seeing the decline of the Roshigumi to the “Water of Life”, asn it means they’ll have to clean after themselves- but at the very least, we know they’ll rise again to greater heights.

Looking forward to seeing the next episode, Okita’s actions and its repercussions are sure to be exciting.

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Kaitou

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